(Washington, D.C.) – Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of State to obtain documents pertaining to possible conflicts of interest between the actions taken by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s activities. The lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of State (13-772)) was filed on May 28, 2013.
The Judicial Watch lawsuit was filed after two years of the State Department refusing to comply with a May 2, 2011, FOIA request for responsive documents. By law, “all federal agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 20 business days.”
The Judicial Watch FOIA request filed with DOJ on May 2, 2011, seeks the following records:
- Any and all SF-50s for Mrs. [Hillary Rodham] Clinton;
- Any and all SF-85s and/or 85Ps for Mrs. Clinton;
- Any and all SF-86s for Mrs. Clinton;
- Any and all SF-450s for Mrs. Clinton;
- Any and all certificates of divestiture for Mrs. Clinton;
- Any and all individual waivers issues to or for Mrs. Clinton pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 208 (b)(1) and 5 C.F.R. §2640.301 or any other applicable ethics statues, regulations, guidelines or agreements;
- Any and all communications and records of communications – including but not limited to phone logs – related to Mr. Clinton’s speech schedule; and,
- Any and all communications and records of communications – including but not limited to e-mails, fax reports, and phone logs – related to former Mr. Clinton’s personal or charitable financial relationships with foreign leaders and governments.
The Department of State acknowledged receiving the Judicial Watch FOIA request on May 17, 2011, and was required by law to respond by June 8, 2011, at the latest. As of the date of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, DOS had failed to produce any records responsive to the request, indicate when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.
The potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an AP wire story, “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman …” CNN at the time warned that Clinton’s “complicated global business interests could present future conflicts of interest that result in unneeded headaches for the incoming commander-in-chief.”
The controversy deepened further when it was revealed that among those vetting Mrs. Clinton for the job of Secretary of State was Bill Clinton’s former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton family confidant, who, the Washington Post wrote in 1999 “endeared herself to the Clintons with her never-back-down, share-nothing, don’t-give-an-inch approach …” After clearing Mrs. Clinton for the DOS job, Mills was named the incoming Secretary’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Mills was a featured speaker at Bill Clinton’s 2012 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.
In response to ethics concerns, reports detailed there would be a thorough process at the Obama State Department for vetting potential conflicts caused by Bill Clinton’s activities in the private sector.
“Given the Benghazi lies and recent reports on pervasive misconduct by State Department officials, our lawsuit is focused like a laser on the issue of Hillary Clinton’s personal ethical standards,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The fact that after two years of State Department stonewalling, we now have to go to court to obtain records concerning Bill Clinton’s personal deal-making and Hillary Clinton’s ethics suggests that there is something to hide.”
Judicial Watch is the leading organization investigating the Benghazi attack of September 11, 2012 which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. We have filed 12 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with various government agencies and have three on-going lawsuits. This is all in the effort to force the government to provide more documents and transparency on this overlooked tragedy. Judicial Watch is also seeking to acquire additional information from the survivors of the attack. If there are any Benghazi secrets to uncover or corruption to expose, you can count on Judicial Watch to lead the way.
Judicial Watch even produced a Special Report: The Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012: Analysis and Further Questions from a Diplomatic Security Service Regional Security Officer and Special Agent closely examining the Obama administration’s actions before, during, and after the assault, as well as the State Department’s commitment to protect overseas diplomats. The new report contains in-depth analysis, conducted exclusively for Judicial Watch by former State Department Security Special Agent Raymond Fournier, examines the critical time period leading up to the Benghazi attack, when repeated requests for increased security were shunned by top State Department officials. It also examines the Obama administration’s official claim that “an obscure Internet video” triggered the attacks, as well as apparently false claims that four top State Department officials had resigned in response to the Department’s December 18 Accountability Review Board report on the attack. And it raises questions as to the internal problems within the Department that may continue to leave overseas diplomats without adequate security.
On February 14th, 2013 we sued the Director of National Intelligence seeking access to records detailing the attack. Specifically, Judicial Watch is seeking a controversial “speaking points” memo indicating that intelligence officials believed from the outset that terrorists were behind the attack despite public statements to the contrary issued by Obama administration officials, including UN Ambassador Susan Rice and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. You can read the lawsuit here: Judicial Watch v. Office of the Dir. of National Intelligence (No. 13-0198)
On February 25th, 2013 we filed another FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State seeking access to “all videos and photographs” depicting the Benghazi, Libya, Consulate between September 10 and September 13, 2012, the period leading up to, during, and immediately following the attack. You can read that lawsuit here: Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00242)). Specifically, Judicial Watch seeks the following records pursuant to its December 19, 2012, FOIA request: “Any and all videos and photographs depicting U.S. Consulate facilities in Benghazi, Libya (including the Special Mission Compound and the Annex) between September 10, 2012, and September 13, 2012 that were provided to the Accountability Review Board (ARB) for Benghazi and/or to any individual member of the ARB.”
We filed our third FOIA lawsuit on March 5th, 2013 against the U.S. Department of State seeking access to records concerning a contract totaling nearly $400,000 that was awarded to a foreign firm for “Security Guards and Patrol Services” at the Benghazi Consulate prior to the deadly attack of September 11, 2012. The contract was signed on February 17 and May 3, and, at the time, identified only as “Award ID SAQMMA12COO92”. At first the State Department denied hiring security guards, then admitted having provided false information after this WIRED magazine expose. You can read the lawsuit here Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00243).
Judicial Watch obtained the first seven photos from the Department of State depicting the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic and CIA facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Judicial Watch obtained the documents pursuant to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department on February 25, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1-13-cv-00242)). These are the first Benghazi photos released by the State Department. See the photos and read the press release here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-first-photos-from-state-department-depicting-aftermath-of-benghazi-attack/
Judicial Watch announced on June 21, 2013 it has begun an additional (FOIA) lawsuit in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Obama Department of State seeking records relating to “updates and/or talking points” given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice concerning the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00951)) Read the press release here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-sues-obama-state-department-for-talking-points-and-updates-given-to-susan-rice-related-to-benghazi-attack/
You can see all filed FOIAs and Lawsuits below under “Official Legal Documents”
To read more about our lawsuits or FOIA requests, please click on the respective press release under “Press Room” below.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton moderated a Benghazi panel discussion with Congressman Frank Wolf (VA — 10) and Judicial Watch Director of Investigations and Research Christopher Farrell. The panel focused on the American public’s unanswered questions regarding the attack. Rep. Frank Wolf detailed his efforts calling for a bipartisan House Select Committee to fully investigate the terrorist attack. Also, Charles Woods, the father of Benghazi victim Navy SEAL Ty Woods, asked us to read a special statement.
Last week JW joined forces with surviving Benghazi family members, U.S. military leaders and other top conservatives to call House Speaker John Boehner on the sad and pathetic job he’s doing investigating the tragedy.
Please continue to read our actions here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/01/outrage-over-republican-leadership-compels-release-of-benghazi-docs/
On October 18, 2012, JW filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request with the Department of State seeking the following:
1) Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
2) Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.
The State Department failed to make a determination or notify JW whether it will comply with the FOIA request within the time allowed by the Act. As a result, JW filed suit against State on June 21, 2013, for failure to comply with the Act and requesting Defendant’s production of non-exempt responsive documents.
To date, two batches of documents have been produced. The first consists of 1192 pages of daily press clips from the United States Mission to the United Nations, dated September 12-28. The documents were released in full and contain nothing beyond published news stories. The second production consists of 67 pages of emails. The majority of the content is withheld as deliberative process and/or attorney-client privilege, aside from three prepared talking points sent to members of Congress on September 15, 2012 (quoted below).
“–The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.
–This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.
–The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with Libyan authorities to bring justice to those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”
The emails for be viewed here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/ricetalkingpoints/
According to an unclassified map obtained by Judicial Watch, the U.S. military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya when terrorists attacked the Special Mission in Benghazi and murdered four Americans.
Please see our blog post here: http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/02/jw-gets-map-of-military-fleet-positions-during-benghazi-attack/ and the documents can be seen here: (http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/navymapbenghazi/
Judicial Watch Seeks the “Speaking Points” Intelligence Memo Referencing Link to Terrorism that was Allegedly Scrubbed by Obama Administration Officials
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence seeking access to records detailing the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Specifically, Judicial Watch seeks a controversial “speaking points” memo indicating that intelligence officials believed from the outset that terrorists were behind the attack despite public statements to the contrary issued by Obama administration officials, including UN Ambassador Susan Rice and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The lawsuit was filed on February 14, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. Office of the Dir. of National Intelligence (No. 13-0198)).
Judicial Watch seeks the following records pursuant to its October 19, 2012, FOIA request:
Any and all memoranda, assessments, analyses, and/or talking points regarding the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and/or the killing of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence between September 11, 2012 and September 20, 2012. This request includes, but is not limited to, the “speaking points” memorandum referred to by Senator Dianne Feinstein during a televised interview on October 17, 2012, (see http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/10/17/ feinstein-intelligence-flaw-lax-security-to-blame-for-libyan-terror-attack/).
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged receiving JW’s request on October 19, 2012, and was required by law to respond by November 26, 2012. As of the date of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, the agency has failed to produce any records responsive to the request, indicate when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.
Regarding the “speaking points” memorandum requested by Judicial Watch, according to the CBS Affiliate in San Francisco: “When asked by CBS 5 if there was an intelligence flaw, the senior California senator [Feinstein] who hails from San Francisco replied: ‘I think what happened was the director of intelligence…put out some speaking points on the initial intelligence assessment. I think that was possibly a mistake.’”
Former CIA Director General David Petraeus reportedly testified before Congress that the initial speaking points produced by the CIA “stated there were indications the attack was linked to al Qaeda,” and suggested the terrorism reference was removed sometime during an interagency review process.
In the days and weeks following the Benghazi attacks, the Obama administration blamed the incident on a rudimentary Internet video deemed offensive to Muslims. This false claim was repeated by both Ambassador Rice and Secretary Clinton in multiple public statements and press interviews. For example, at a September 14, 2012, event honoring the four victims of the Benghazi attack, Secretary Clinton made the following statement: “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful video that we had nothing to do with.”
Later, when asked about the alleged discrepancy between the intelligence community’s assessment and the Obama administration’s public statements during congressional testimony, former Secretary of State Clinton shouted, “What difference does it make?” “I personally was not focused on talking points,” she stated.
“With all of the Benghazi lies coming out of the Obama administration, the only way to get at the truth is to release these records immediately,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “From the beginning, the Obama White House has been more concerned with self-protection than to disclosing the truth about Benghazi. The Obama administration’s lawless Benghazi cover-up is a disgrace and an insult to the victims of the attacks and their families. The Obama Benghazi scandal makes Iran-Contra seem like patty-cake by comparison.”
In December, Judicial Watch released its special report, “The Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012: Analysis and Further Questions from a Diplomatic Security Service Regional Security Officer and Special Agent.” The report closely examined the Obama administration’s actions before, during, and after the assault, as well as the State Department’s commitment to protect overseas diplomats.
In addition to Judicial Watch’s Benghazi investigation, Congress also seeks answers from the Obama administration. Republicans in the Senate have indicated they plan to put a hold on the nomination of John O. Brennan, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, who is President Obama’s pick to serve as Director of the CIA, until the Obama White House releases more details on the Benghazi attacks, including the speaking points memos.
The U.S. economy remains in shambles and a relentless unemployment crisis grips the nation yet the Obama Administration is giving away $20 million for an innovative green energy venture in Africa.
The allocation comes less than two years after the administration dedicated $50 million to replace “inefficient cook stoves” contributing to climate change and deforestation in developing countries. Under that brilliant plan, villages in Africa, Asia and South America got 100 million clean burning stoves in the name of saving the planet.
In both cases—the African green energy and clean burning stove project—the cash is being handled by the famously corrupt United Nations as part of costly plan to conquer global warming. The latest Africa green venture is part of a broader sustainable energy project launched last year. In all, 50 countries have pledged $50 billion to the effort which is supposed to double the share of renewable energy worldwide by 2030.
As always, the biggest contributor to these outrageous, leftist global experiments is Uncle Sam. In this particular case, the goal is a formidable one; to boost clean energy projects in African nations. A mere $20 million will hardly get the job started, but the U.S. believes it will lead to hundreds of millions of dollars from the private sector for projects that otherwise would never get off the drawing board.
At least that’s how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained it at a huge U.N. powwow (Rio+20) held in Brazil this month to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet. The conference focused on two themes; a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
Clinton’s generous multi-million-dollar pledge was undoubtedly the highlight of the event or, at least it received the largest amount of media attention. During her speech at the Riocentro Convention Center in Rio de Janeiro Clinton asserted that clean energy will bring Africans new jobs, create new livelihoods, support education, new businesses, healthier and more productive lives. Though Africa is blessed with vast geothermal resources, only one in four households has access to electricity, Clinton said. “That is 600 million men, women, and children living without power that can’t turn on the lights, can’t use a machine in a factory.”
The gap is not attributed to a technological hurdle, Madam Secretary clarified, but rather a fear among investors who often see obstacles and risks that stop them from investing in clean energy in Africa. Here is the key phrase: “So if we can remove some of the risk and cover some of the costs of preparing a project, we believe we can spur significant new private investments in clean energy,” Clinton said. This, of course, means Uncle Sam must whip out his check book.
Judicial Watch Lawsuit Forces National Archives to Release Hillary Clinton’s White House Daily Schedule Records
Archives to Release Records on March 19 at 10 a.m.
(Washington, DC) –Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that the National Archives and Records Administration will release 11,046 pages of former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s daily schedule records, comprising 2,888 days of schedules, on March 19 at 10 a.m. in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit in the matter [Judicial Watch, Inc. v U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Civil Action No: 1:07-cv-01267 (JR)]. As soon as practical, Judicial Watch will post the documents on its Internet site at www.judicialwatch.org.
On March 1, the National Archives notified the U.S. District Court that it anticipated Hillary’s daily schedule records would be available on or before March 20, the date of a status hearing in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit:
“The Clinton Presidential Library (“Library”) completed its exacting page-by-page, line-by-line review of approximately 10,000 of the 30,000 pages of records potentially responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] April 5, 2006 Freedom of Information Act request (“Request”) that is the subject of this action,” The National Archives stated in its brief. “The Library has notified the Presidential representatives of the records scheduled for disclosure and anticipates that it will produce those records to plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. in advance of the March 20, 2008 hearing.” The National Archives, however, suggests it will take “one to two years” to begin processing Hillary Clinton’s telephone logs.
“It is about time. We’re pleased, thanks to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, that the American people will be able to review Hillary’s daily schedule records. The Clintons slow-pedaled this process but were unsuccessful in delaying this document release any further,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “However, this does not put an end to Judicial Watch’s pursuit of Hillary’s White House records, including her telephone logs. It would be an injustice to force the American people to wait ‘one to two years’ for the telephone logs of a candidate for the presidency. We are asking the court to force the National Archives to comply with the law and release these records as soon as possible.”
With respect to the telephone logs, Judicial Watch filed a new court brief on March 17, 2008 seeking limited discovery concerning the handling of documents requests by the Archives. Judicial Watch also seeks access to records related to the National Taskforce on Health Care Reform, a “cabinet-level” taskforce chaired by former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a separate lawsuit [Judicial Watch, Inc. v U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Civil Action No: 07-1987 (PLF)] .
For more information on Judicial Watch’s campaign to force the release of Hillary Clinton’s White House records, please visit www.judicialwatch.org.